With brands like Gucci, Marni, Prada and Versace headlining Milan Fashion Week it’s clear that the city’s sartorial influence will be felt long after the runway shows are over. This season during the MFW Fall 2018 shows, we saw a little bit of everything on the catwalk, from live puppies at Tod’s to replica model heads at Gucci. But one of the most surprising trends to pop up at the event was the popularity of puffer coats, a look that Moncler took to the nth degree with a floor-length puffer coat gown.
This season also presented a fun juxtaposition between the past and present, bringing classic cuts and colors to a modern fashion landscape. Throwback pieces from the ‘80s could be found on the Versace runway where Donatella focused on eccentric prints and cuts while Philosophy di Lorenzo Serafini presented the kind of puffy pink sleeves you would only see in a mid-‘80s John Hughes film. To pull fashion into the future, Dolce and Gabbana started the show by forcing its entire audience to disconnect from all Wi-Fi and personal hotspots, allowing for a troop of drones to float down the runway modeling the latest bags and accessories.
While strange accessories made us look up and take notice on the catwalk, more wearable trends from this season’s shows included belted waists and oversized blankets. Popular at NYFW and LFW, the oversized blanket scarf/coat was still popular in Milan and was seen everywhere from the clean, tailored cuts at Jil Sanders to the billowing, floor length looks at Missoni. Pair these flowing fabrics with a wide belt to top off the look.
The fabrics at MFW are always some of the most luxe on the runway and this season didn’t disappoint. Alessandro Michele sent out gold leather, heavy embroidery and piles of lush, fabulous fur on the Gucci runway—and he wasn’t the only one. Jil Sanders opted for fur with a bright orange floral print, Roberto Cavalli topped animal prints with thick, plush furs, while Karl Lagerfeld and Silvia Venturi Fendi sent out the fabric emblazoned with the signature double-F at Fendi.
Fashion is constantly evolving and with social media playing an integral role in the sartorial experience, it is changing at a much faster pace. Luxury labels, for instance, are employing new ways to engage with the market through innovations like “buy now, see now” fashion presentations. Labels are also now keen on associating their names with digital “influencers,” as part of their marketing efforts. Getting an influencer to post about your brand or product has now become just as effective in boosting sales as a traditional ad would.
There is retail wisdom to be had from the fashion success of Australian designer Poppy Lissiman. Hers is a story that not illustrates the importance of digital hype in today’s digital universe. It also sheds light on what the fashion market—obsessed with selfies, OOTDs and anything with a hashtag attached to it—resonates with and responds to.
Lissiman was 19 when she opened shop in Claremont, West Australia. Her pieces back then were mostly ready-to-wear apparel. As a designer, she also went into the creation of accessories that included eyewear, bags and jewelry. Her distinct, whimsical designs for accessories stood out, prompting her to focus solely on the said category by 2012. At around the same time, she launched her e-commerce site, which outperformed the brick and mortar shop in Australia. Thus began Lissiman’s success story.
Poppy Lissiman fell under the fashion radar when the Hadid sisters were first spotted wearing her now eponymous Le Skinny eyewear at Milan Fashion Week. Inspired by the future-perfect silhouettes of The Matrix, Le Skinny was breath of fresh air for the fashionable set. Fun, distinctive and Instagram-worthy, the pair of sunnies quickly became the fashion accessory to have that season.
Lissiman did not solely bank on the hype her brand was getting. While the love that celebrities like Selena Gomez, Caroline Vreeland, Gwen Stefani and the Hadid sisters where showing gained Lissiman street-style dominance, the Australian designer continued developing a range that would appeal to a new fashion generation. She focused on keeping her prices reasonable despite the attention and growing demand. She explained that the modern day fashionista is inclined to wear several pairs of eyewear in a season—or even a day. At less that $100 for her eyewear, the market wouldn’t think twice to purchase one or several pairs of the Le Skinny in varied iterations.
Quirky designs of her totes and clutch bags also comprised a significant portion of her sales. Lissiman’s finger on the pulse inspired her to integrate design elements like the evil eye, serpents, and embroidered statements onto her creations. But beyond design, producing fashion with a conscience helped her to forge deeper connections with the new fashion market. Lissiman’s products are guided by ethical values, utilizing vegan and ethically sourced materials to address the growing demand to ecologically-sound fashion.
Lissiman’s rise in cult fashion reflects the new attitude and temperament of the fashion market. It emphasizes the importance of engaging with an audience through clever and relevant sartorial statements. More importantly punctuates a point that today’s consumer cares as much about aesthetic as it does about ethical values their fashion choices represent
It’s London Fashion Week, so pretty much everyone is giving us major style envy. And last night, it was the turn of curve models Felicity Hayward and Iskra Lawrence to have us weeping over our wardrobes. Felicity was the ultimate golden girl as she rocked up to the CIROC x MTV & Wonderland bash at The Ned in London in a statement dress.
The 29-year-old wore a plunging yellow dress featuring ruffled shoulders and a thigh slit, teamed with purple boots and a pink handbag. Now that’s what we call a look. Meanwhile, fellow model Iskra was serving Barbie realness in a pink textured bandeau, a pencil skirt and a pink satin duster coat. The ladies were seen hugging inside the venue, where celebs and fashionistas mingled, sipped on CIROC cocktails and ate mini hot dogs and truffle mac and cheese.
Because Fashion Week doesn’t have to mean salads and sparkling water. Also at the party was Tyga’s ex Demi Rose Mawby, who was dressed in a very Kardashian-esuqe white bodycon dress. Professor Green and his girlfriend Fae Williams looked loved-up as ever as they snapped selfies at the event, while they were also seen hanging out with producer Naughty Boy.
LONDON – Newcomer Simone Rocha and veteran Jasper Conran are among the designers showcasing their latest autumn and winter styles at London Fashion Week, as British luxury fashion powerhouse Burberry prepared to round out a busy Day 2 with its show later Saturday.
Some highlights from the style extravaganza:
PRETTIFIED TAILORING AT SIMONE ROCHA
Dainty lace, ruffles, pretty bows: Simone Rocha’s latest collection may include every girly cliche, but there’s more than meets the eye.
The young designer, known for her modern take on sweet, doll-like looks, dressed models in frilly gold or black tulle and lace dresses over slim tailored pieces such as a buttoned-up shirt or a trouser suit. The outfits were finished off with mannish brogue shoes or furry flat slippers.
There were exaggerated puff sleeves, embroidered roses, fur trims and rich floral brocade fabrics, perhaps a nod to the John Constable portraits Rocha referred to in her show notes. They were certainly a match with the show’s venue, an ornate red and gold room adorned with giant candlelit chandeliers in London’s palatial Goldsmiths’ Hall.
Rocha did break away from delicate dresses, and those were some of the show’s strongest looks: Belted, double-breasted patent leather coats that came in a striking red or military green, as well as red and navy plaid outfits adorned with a tinsel-like trim.
ELEGANCE AND RICH COLORS AT JASPER CONRAN
Designer Jasper Conran pared down the in-your-face, bombastic style some rivals have adopted for London Fashion Week. Instead, Conran showed an elegant collection that relied on many monochromatic outfits with subtle shifts of texture and drape to set them off. The apparent simplicity, offset by the detailing and workmanship, made for an often captivating result.
“I think it’s very much what I’ve learned in my career. These are the things that I know,” said Conran, one of the founding designers of London Fashion Week. “So it’s an expression of quite a long time of learning.”
Conran described the basic elements he used as navy, white and sulphur yellow, with a wide variety of other unusual colors and textures weaved in. He found expressive ways to mix and match, but also relied on one color from head to toes walking the runway in matching, understated shoes. Most models wore their hair long and natural, giving the collection an airy, ethereal feel.
When shades were mixed, it was frequently striking — as in a surprisingly effective dress that paired olive green with dark brown.
Trousers and some dresses were often pleated, and lightweight parkas set off some outfits. Conran seemed to show a special flair in various shades of yellow, including a hooded yellow parka that seemed both practical and sexy.
She’s a hard-working actress with a stealthy resume.
But Katie Holmes added fashion muse to her lengthy set of skills as she posed in Zac Posen’s 2018 Collection in a series of shots shared to Instagram.
The 39-year-old actress looked positively stunning in billowing couture pieces, with Posen admitting that his latest beautiful creations marked ‘this time and our Beautiful friendship.’
Katie’s short brunette hair was slicked back for the gorgeous images featuring her friend’s latest designs.
Heavy pieces of crimson-colored fabric were draped across her body as she struck poses in front of the camera for photographer Daniel King.
In one sultry black-and-white image, Zac wrote, ‘Friday vibes!’ before plugging his new collection.
Holmes showcased vibrant ensembles with classic designs throughout the series of images, looking like a seasoned professional model.
‘I wanted to present my collection in an intimate portfolio of my dear friend @katieholmes212,’ Posen wrote of Holmes.
Behind-the-scenes video caught the mother-of-one perfecting her poses in front of a dark backdrop.
‘I will cherish these images forever! Thank you @katieholmes212 and the whole #zacposen family!,’ the designer wrote in one post shared to his more than one million followers.
Zac and Katie reportedly met over french fries at a mutual friend’s birthday party before making plans of their own for their friendship to flourish, according to Vogue.
They’ve attended the fashionable Met Gala twice as each other’s dates and have shared many a red carpet together.
‘It’s inspiring to collaborate,’ Katie said to Vogue. ‘I really respect and admire the work and precision that goes into every piece.’
TRUST Vetements and the brand’s cultish cool to tackle the touchy subject of overproduction heads on. Launching today, four of Harrods’ store windows on Brompton Road will be dedicated to the Swiss label’s call for action. “We have the luxury of being a young, independent brand, which has the opportunity to speak out without being afraid of powerful backers,” its CEO Guram Gvasalia says over coffee in the suite of his Mayfair hotel. “The problem with sustainability today is that people look at it from the wrong perspective. Yes, where you produce and how you produce is super important. But what people are overseeing is something that’s right in front of our eyes: it’s about how much brands produce and how much consumers buy,” the 31-year-old brother of Vetements’ creative director Demna Gvasalia argues. “Since my first-ever interview I’ve been saying this: the basic thing of economics is the supply meeting demand. If you go to a shop and you see something on sale, it means it’s been overproduced.”
Over the past year, Vetements has been highlighting issues of overconsumption, staging waste-focused events at Maxfield in Los Angeles, Saks Fifth Avenue in New York, and Browns East in London. “But in this age, doing something once or twice isn’t enough. Our phone screens refresh so quickly that our attention spans have shrunk,” Gvasalia quips. He’s devoted the next twelve months to shining a light on the issue of overproduction with plans of fifty events worldwide starting with the windows at Harrods. Unveiled to the public this morning, they feature stockpile installations of clothes donated by Harrods’ four-thousand employees as well as original Parisian donation bins for charity, a regular occurrence on Instagram due to the “Vetements” logo featured on their fronts (simply meaning ‘clothes’). Throughout February, Harrods’ customers are invited to donate their own garments, the proceeds of which go to the NSPPC.
Gvaslia, who has been working on the projects for over a year, says he approached all the big fashion brands asking them to donate their stock. “Nobody wanted to take part. Not a single brand; really huge corporations. Everyone is afraid of admitting that they make more clothes than they can sell.” He spends his year travelling the world, trawling through department stores and boutiques, analysing the stock on display at various points of the season. “I find it particularly hard travelling in the United States during the sale, seeing all these luxury items on extreme discount,” he says. “There are mountains and mountains of clothes that were overproduced. Part of it is sold with huge markdowns, but what’s left becomes dead-stock. Statistically, thirty percent of what brands produce ends up in landfills. Garbage.”
What needs to change, Gvasalia explains, is the pride of the biggest companies in fashion, whose reported gross turnovers can only increase if they sell more merchandise. “At the end of the day, you only have a certain amount of people, who are actually willing to buy your clothes. No matter what you do, this number is limited. So instead, they have their own stores that they force their merchandise upon, just so they can increase their numbers.” In other words, the annual figures reported in designer interviews and reviews shouldn’t always be taken for granted. Nor should they necessarily be a source of pride. “For brands to become more sustainable today, they need to do one simple thing: have their supply meet their demand. It’s like throwing away food in a world full of hunger. Our planet is sick because of us, because we want more and more and more, without thinking of generations to come,” he reflects. And it goes for the customer, too. “Try to think, ‘Do I need all these clothes?’”
Gvasalia isn’t a big shopper himself. On this day – as any – he’s clad in his trusty uniform of all-blacks: jeans, a T-shirt and a hoodie. His wardrobe can be counted on a few hands, and whenever he acquires a new item of clothing he donates an old one to a relative. Asked if he publicises Vetements’ turnovers he rolls his eyes. “Of course not. It’s not the main goal. The goal is to create amazing clothes for people who want to buy them.” How do he and his designer brother take responsibility, then? “First of all we don’t have our own stores. Secondly, we don’t push stores with minimums. We’ve started to limit quantities,” Gvasalia says, admitting he sometimes puts a stop to buyers when they try to buy stock beyond their customer demand. “Of course, there are buyers that are amazing. Natalie Kingham bought 250 of our unicorn hoodies,” he says, referring to the buying director of MatchesFashion.com, “and they were gone in a day. But some buyers put debts on pieces that are just insane.”
What of all those coveted, perpetually sold-out it-items we hear about, then? “What brands do – which is very smart – is to limit the online stores, giving one store maybe forty pairs of the hottest sneaker. So of course it sells out,” Gvasalia explains. “I sold four-thousand pairs of sneakers on Ssense.com in four days, but this is not my goal anymore. It breeds greed. I’m not chasing numbers. I don’t need my company to be worth a billion. You can make money like that much more easily outside of fashion.” It’s perhaps an easy thing to say for the owner of a brand like Vetements, which sky-rocketed in sales just a year into their existence, in 2014, shifting hoodies at £600 and denim trousers – sustainably made out of recycled jeans, by the way – at £1200. “Our stuff is expensive because it’s limited,” Gvasalia asserts. “But then people go and buy the high street items that look like our work. I want to tell people: buy less, buy quality and buy long term.”
Last year, Vetements relocated their studios from Paris to Zurich in a move interpreted by some as tax conscious. Gvasalia begs to differ. “We moved the company to Switzerland because I wanted to protect myself from an industry I feel is toxic and wrong. I don’t want to be distracted by the wrong business strategies. I moved the company because I wanted to be left alone in a world where we can operate without distractions.” So there. Vetements, of course, stills show in Paris, like in January when the brothers borrowed an old flea market free of charge and invited guests to watch the show – styled in copious layers as a reflection of overconsumption – from market chairs already in place. “My show was completely sustainable,” Gvasalia nods. He says his commendable outlook is the result of age, of running a growing business, but also rooted in a childhood of extremes
In the early 1990s, the brothers and their family fled their native Abkhazia amidst the Georgian civil war. “When you see stuff as six years old that I don’t even want to share as public knowledge, you start to appreciate life. You start to understand that if you have to cancel a T-shirt because of a minimum, you don’t have to care. It’s not the end of the world,” Gvasalia says, raising his eyebrows. “I appreciate life because I know that things can change in one second.”